Collins says Limerick beef farmers face insecure future

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cows460x276LIMERICK beef farmers are facing a bleak future and allowing Larry Goodman’s ABP meet processing group to buy out the competition makes their viability less secure, Deputy Niall Collins has warned.

ABP, the global meat processing company who have an operation in Rathkeale County Limerick, have been criticised by the Fianna Fáil TD after their buyout of Slaney Meats.

The moves, according to the County Limerick deputy means that he Irish beef industry is only one or two decisions away from being completely dominated by mega-processors.

Deputy Collins has warned that without intervention beef farmers are on the verge of being put out of business.

Last month, the acquisition deal was approved by the EU Commission who stated that Larry Goodman’s ABP group could be given the green light to the deal after investigating markets for purchasing live cattle, sheep and lambs for slaughter, and the sale of fresh meat and animal by-products. The Commission said the deal would not raise competition concerns.

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However, Deputy Collins said that the deal “is both inconceivable and dangerous to the future of the industry.

“The vast majority of beef farmers know that the ABP Group is dominating the market, and the decision to allow them to buy Slaney Meats removes one of the last remaining independent players in the industry,” said Deputy Collins.

“Competition within the industry has been flagging for years” he said and when kill rates increase beyond 30,000, farmers are lucky to receive €3.30/kg when selling into the factories. That is nowhere near break-even.”

“Beef farmers are already facing a bleak future and the decision makes that viability less secure,” concluded Deputy Collins.